These photos are much closer to what I was trying to achieve. What I'm missing in my arsenal is the ability to color my lights better and keep my light pattern tight. I didn't have as much control over the difference in the background and foreground lighting that I want. Either too much light from the foreground spilled onto the background, or the long exposure time due to hot, continuous lighting in the foreground allowed too much through in the background.
I made great use out of my "Stick-in-a-Cans". See my set up shot here.
My wife took our mop in to get converted back into a dog today, so keep an eye out for a session with her (the dog) soon.